The Masthead | Local Blog
SEATTLE -- A proposal for a "landing strip" on the water could soon make it safer for seaplanes and boats to share space on Seattle's Lake Union.
For decades, seaplane pilots have been tasked with finding a clear spot in the water to land. They're good at it, but an ever-busier lake increases the changes of an accident.
Now some say it's time to implement a system that lets people know when and where the planes will land.
On a busy day, Lake Union can see 50 takes offs and 50 landings. And those pilots use the same water as boaters, kayakers and swimmers.
"It gets pretty crazy. You have to be careful," said kayaker Lori Mardis.
When Mardis paddles out onto the lake on a busy summer day, her impression is that planes sometimes land a little too close for comfort.
"You can see some crossing of paths," she said. "I think it's more with the larger boats and kayakers that aren't paying attention."
In 2011 an amateur photographer documented a close call between a Kenmore Air float plane on approach and a jet skier who drove into its path. Nobody was hurt, but the near-crash added urgency to a proposal to add a dedicated aircraft lane on the water.
"We're just trying to create some more organization to the lake because the lake has gotten a lot busier," said Kenmore Air president Todd Banks.
Banks said he's waiting for government approval for a landing/takeoff strip that would be marked by eight buoys with signs a pilot could activate from the cockpit.
"The lights will flash, letting boaters and kayakers and paddle boarders know that there going to be an operation," Banks said.
Banks said the entire system would cost roughly $80,000.
The City of Seattle is working to get all the necessary permits from the Coast Guard, Department of Fish and Wildlife and other agencies to make the water landing lane a reality. There's no timeline for when it will be implemented. Source: KOMO News.
Traveling by boat along the shore of Chambers Bay golf course might sound like a good way to catch a glimpse of the U.S. Open without fighting the crowds, but don’t count on getting anywhere near the action.
The Coast Guard and Pierce County Sheriff’s Department are preparing a security plan that will bar all boat traffic within 1,000 yards of shore during the nationally televised golf tournament, according to a... draft rule published by the Coast Guard.
It’s part of the overall security plan meant to protect the Open’s projected 65,000 daily visitors from “potential criminal and terrorist activity.” USGA and law enforcement officials have not released the security plan, but some pieces have come to light such as parking restrictions and a ban on drone aircraft around the course.
On a side note, the USCG will be releases detailed information soon through USCG District 13 Notice to Mariners.
Here’s some good news Gig Harbor residents and boaters who have been longing for a grocery store downtown — Harbor General Store will officially open its doors April 11 on Pioneer Way, just half a block from the waterfront.
The combination grocery store/deli was open for business before that date, but until the April 11 grand opening, it was still something of a work in progress, according to owner Stephanie Sagle. View full story at Kitsap Sun.
King County is about to deliver a new addition to Vashon Island. She’s sleek, sturdy and stretches more than 100 feet. She’s high-tech, highly efficient - yet lightweight. And even though she’s young, she’ll have no problem replacing the Melissa Ann when she brings state-of the-art passenger-only ferry service to the island.
King County and Vashon Island will officially welcome the M.V. Sally Fox to th...eir water taxi family at 1 p.m. Saturday March 28. The celebration and vessel dedication, hosted by King County Executive Dow Constantine and other dignitaries, will be held at the Vashon Island Water Taxi Dock. The dedication will be followed by refreshments, music and free rides on the Sally Fox until 4 p.m.
The Sally Fox is expected to be placed into active service in early April after a thorough crew familiarization and training program has been completed. The vessel is expected to arrive in Seattle today with training in Elliott Bay beginning as early as Monday and continuing over the next several weeks.
The M.V. Sally Fox is one of two new catamarans replacing the Melissa Ann and Rachel Marie – 27 year-old leased boats that have been operating from Vashon Island and West Seattle to downtown Seattle since 2010. A third vessel, the Spirit of Kingston, will remain part of the county’s water taxi fleet. View full story at West Seattle Herald.
Recall Summary - Name of product: Kidde plastic valve disposable fire extinguishers
Hazard: A faulty valve component can cause the disposable fire extinguishers not to fully discharge when the lever is repeatedly pressed and released during a fire emergency, posing a risk of injury.
Units; About 4.6 million units in the U.S. and 175,000 in Canada
This recall involves 31 models of Kidde disposable fire extinguishers with Zytel® black plastic valves. The recalled extinguishers are red, white or silver and are either ABC or BC rated. The ratings can be found to the right of the nameplate. Manufacture dates included in the recall are July 23, 2013 through October 15, 2014. A 10-digit date code is stamped on the side of the cylinder, near the bottom. View more infromation here including model numbers recalled.View more infromation below including model numbers recalled.
An important reminder for wearing a lifejacket.
On March 18th- A boater who had been on Hood Canal in a small aluminum boat was lucky to get a bit of help after observant citizens plucked him from the cold water March 18.
According to Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue, someone called 911 to report a possible boat adrift and a boater having problem on Hood Canal near the area of NW Rhoda Lane at 4:08 p.m.
The caller and his brother hopped in their own boat to investigate. They found the small aluminum boat, but it was empty.
At this time the caller had been contacted by Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue's duty chief. The duty chief advised the caller to travel back to the original location where the boater had been sighted. The caller and his brother returned to that area, approximately three quarters of a mile away, and found the boater in the cold water.
The boater was not wearing a life jacket and it was estimated he had been in the water for approximately 30 minutes. The brothers pulled him into their boat and took him to the boat launch on Misery Point where a CKFR medic unit was waiting.
The United States Coast Guard had also sent a helicopter to the area to aid in the search.
As the weather continues to get nicer and people get out onto the water more often, Central Kitsap Fire and Rescue reminds everyone to wear a life jacket when out on any type of watercraft. Source: Central Kitsap Reporter
Having just enough time to abandon their quickly sinking tug boat in the Georgia Straight, two people swam to the safety of a nearby Island.
According to Jeff Olsson, the Maritime Search and Rescue Coordinator for the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Victoria, the vessel sank a little after 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon near Halfmoon Bay on the Sunshine Coast....
Concerned citizens on the coast line noticed the sinking tug and notified the coast guard.
Olsson said the tug was sinking so quickly that the two people on board didn’t have enough time to call for help.
The two people abandoned the tug and swam to Merry Island where a lighthouse keeper kept them warm while they awaited medical attention.View full story at KelownaNow.com.
A potential dock shuffle on the waterfront has turned into a kerfuffle between two Gig Harbor organizations....
The Gig Harbor Canoe and Kayak Club is looking to move to another dock in the city. A potential move to Eddon Boat Dock has upset members of Gig Harbor Boat Shop, who feel the dock cannot support two tenants.
At the March 9 Gig Harbor City Council meeting, members of the boat shop took to the microphone to share their concern. The comments came up in the public comments section, and were not part of the official meeting agenda.
City Administrator Ron Williams said the long-term plan is to place the club at a renovated Ancich Netshed and upland park, but that project is currently seeking a grant.
The club will eventually need a better place to operate than out of Skansie, but that better place is “still kind of up in the air,” Williams said. View full story at gateline.com.
A growing group of fast, easy, one-design boats becomes Fleet 33.
Boat lovers may have noticed a gaggle of sister hulls around the Port Townsend Boat Haven lately. In the last five years, the local fleet of Thunderbirds has grown from two or three boats to 14, six to eight of which race regularly, said local T-bird sailor Joe Daubenberger.
Recognizable by their Seahawks-like logo – a profile of a big-beaked bird’s head – and the hulls’ distinctive “hard chine” shape, the 26-foot sloop's design is by ...Seattle naval architect Ben Seaborn. It came about because of a 1950s competition sponsored by a plywood company.
The original plywood boats – fiberglass ones exist, too – are aging, but there are still a lot of them around, especially here. Port Townsend’s group of Thunderbirds was recently granted fleet status by the International Thunderbird Class Association: Fleet No. 33. View full story at ptleader.com
One of the best-known fishing boats ever built in Gig Harbor has met a bittersweet fate.
Earlier this month, the purse seiner Avalon, built in the Skansie shipyard, was dismantled in Port Townsend.
But even as was torn apart, every board and bit of hardware was documented by the Gig Harbor BoatShop.
Earlier this year, the Avalon was declared “derelict” by the Department of Natural Resources after it sank in the Hood Canal. View full story at Kitsap Sun.
The Hiram M. Chittenden small lock will be closed for an annual inspection and maintenance repairs as of 1200 on March 9th. The planned reopening is scheduled for 1500 on March 29th This is a longer closure than is normal due to additional projects being completed. The large lock will remain operational during this period. For additional information, contact lockmasters at 206-789-2622.
SEATTLE -- People walking along the beach this week at Discovery Park are finding a new and unexpected attraction.
A boat has run aground just off shore of at the Magnolia park. But it's not just any boat -- it's a couple's home.
Tim Thompson bought a boat on Craigslist for $500. Several days ago a windstorm pushed the boat ashore, where it has sat since then.
Thompson was living on the boat that happens to be named "Permanent Address." Without it he and his girlfriend are homeless.
"Honestly, I was devastated because it was the only place to live at the moment," Thompson said. View full story at KOMO News (with video).
Mark Stout of Scow Bay Boats said he is "rather thrilled" with the prospect of restoring the Western Flyer, which is not just any old wooden boat.
He started work last week overseeing what he estimates would be at least a year-long restoration of the boat that famous American author John Steinbeck chartered in 1940 for an expedition to Mexico's Sea of Cortez.
"The Steinbeck thing is groovy and all that, but I'm really into it because it was built in Tacoma ... there's not many of that style left," Stout said of the 76-foot purse seiner built in 1937. View full story at PTleader.com.
UPDATE from WSDOT: SR 520 drawspan closed, east navigation channel open.
On the morning of Tuesday, Feb. 17 , construction activities for the new floating bridge permanently blocked the drawspan on the existing SR 520 floating bridge.
At the same time, the east navigation channel was reopened, allowing boats up to 58 feet tall to navigate around both the existing floating bridge and construction for the new floating bridge. The west navigation channel remains open to vessels up to 45 feet tall. View full detail here at WSDOT.
Boats sailing in Lake Washington will have to take a different path for passing the 520 bridge for a while.
Dave Becher, Washington State Transportation Floating Bridge and Landings Manager, told KIRO Radio starting Tuesday, the new bridge will extend beyond the current drawspan, effectively blocking the channel for boats to pass through the middle of the existing bridge.
"The only time that the drawspan will open is for our regular maintenance closures that occur late at night or early in the morning once a month or if there's a large windstorm where they need to take the pressure off the bridge."
WSDOT says since construction on the new floating bridge began in 2012 and blocked the old bridge's east navigation channel, the drawspan has opened for marine traffic more than 600 times.
The new six-lane bridge won't have a drawspan. It will have an east high-rise clearance of 70 feet. That matches the height of the I-90 East Channel Bridge.
Until the new bridge's scheduled opening in spring 2016, tall boats will need to go under the old bridge's 58-foot-tall high-rise near the Medina shoreline.
There are 60 pleasure and commercial boats that won't be able to fit underneath.
Transportation officials say they've been working with the boating community to tell them they have to pick a side of Lake Washington, either north or south of 520. Story from mynorthwest.com
Learn about all the ways to get your kids out on the water this summer! March 28th, 2015
Seattle, February 5, 2015—Rat from the Wind in the Willows was right. "There is nothing, absolutely nothing, half so much worth doing as simply messing about in boats." Fortunately for Puget Sound area residents, we live in a boating paradise with an abundance of programs and opportunities for kids to learn how to mess about in sailboats. From local after-school programs to day camps to multi-week voyages to Desolation Sound, on boats as small as eight feet and as large as 133 feet, the options are endless. Windsurfing, kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and rowing are also offered by some groups. Click here for more details.
Not every salmon derby survived the closure of Area 7 as well as the Roche Harbor Classic. The Anacortes Fishing Derby, scheduled for March 21-22, has been cancelled, according to Anacortes Derby Chairman Jay Field.
View full details at Northwest Yachting Magazine.
Line up of fun includes SUP jousting tournament, wine and beer tastings, amphibious craft and tons of kids activities
SEATTLE – January 2015 – From stand up paddleboards to superyachts and everything in between, there’s lots to take in at the Seattle Boat Show (Indoors +Afloat). The 2015 show drops anchor on Jan. 23 and runs through Jan 31. The largest show on the West Coast, it features some 1,000 boats and yachts in two locations, more than three acres of accessories, electronics and boating gear, 430+ exhibitors, 225 free seminars and advanced training classes for a fee. There’s also tons of fun to be had at the show.
When legislators approved and President Barack Obama signed the federal spending bill a few weeks ago, one provision prohibited the use of federal funds to enact statewide or local bans on the sale and use of lead in fishing tackle.
Included in the 2015 omnibus spending bill, courtesy of the Toxic Substances Control Act and benefiting anglers who use lead-based fishing tackle, the prohibition against using federal funds to ban lead products from recreational activity could prevent certain regulations from being enacted.
“We see the omnibus package as a temporary fix. It means federal money cannot be used to ban lead fishing tackle,” Libby Yranski, government relations coordinator for American Sportfishing Association (ASA), said, adding the advocacy group has for a few years been working on permanent legislation to create an exemption from banning lead-based fishing tackle.
Specifically, the exemption means lead-based fishing tackle cannot be banned locally. State and local regulation of lead-based fishing tackle could still be enacted and enforced without the use of federal funds. View full story at The Log.
Upon further review, the ruling has been confirmed — it’s a repeat for the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Boat Show. Seattle Boat Show organizers have once again decided to pay homage to the home team by ending the show one day early so that exhibitors, event staff and showgoers can watch the Seahawks bring home their second Vince Lombardi trophy with friends and family. The show will close at 8pm on Saturday, Jan. ...31. That still gives boating enthusiasts nine full days to visit the West Coast’s largest boat show, with two locations, at CenturyLink Field Event Center and South Lake Union.
The Seattle Boat Show opens at 11am on Friday Jan. 23. In further celebration of the team, Seattle Boat Show and BoatUS are giving one lucky boater a pair of 2015 Seahawks Season Tickets. Tickets to the Seattle Boat Show are an auspicious $12. View full story at Boating Industry: